One of the central issues on the Democratic platform is making free college education a reality. The national student loan debt is already massive and doesn’t look to disappear anytime soon, and a large part of that is because college tuition prices are only going up.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who some see as a potential presidential nominee, recently made a proposal that could make free college a possibility in the future for hundreds of thousands of New York residents.
Under Cuomo’s proposed plan, students who are in good academic standing, get accepted to state colleges and universities and come from a family that makes less than $125,000 a year would be eligible, according to The New York Times.
He unveiled his plan at LaGuardia Community College alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, who made waves during the recent presidential elections while using free college tuition as one of his main campaign promises.
“This society should say, ‘We’re going to pay for college because you need college to be successful,’” said Cuomo. “And New York State — New York State is going to do something about it.”
Much of the money to support Cuomo’s plan would come from supplementing existing state and federal grants.
The plan would ideally go into effect around 2019 and result in 200,000 students qualifying for free education. While this number is smaller than the initial projections of 1 million students, it’s still a step in the right direction. Especially since around 400,000 students currently attend state colleges and universities full-time.
Cuomo’s office hopes that the idea of free tuition would attract more students to state colleges and increase the population by 10 percent.
“Here’s my prediction,” said Sen. Sanders. “If New York State does it this year, mark my words, state after state will follow.”
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